The beautiful Porsche 911 all decked out in its Coca Cola finery. Photo/Porsche.

If you’ve read any of my earlier columns, you probably know how much I love Porsches. Though red isn’t my favorite color for any car (especially a Porsche), I like the fact that this iconic brand is getting jiggy with another iconic one – Coca Cola.

A pharmacist by the name of John S. Pemberton came up with the formula for Coke at his Pemberton Chemical Plant in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally presented as being a cure-all for what ailed you, it contained the coca leaf (same stuff as what’s in cocaine) and the kola nut which bumped up the caffeine content. Pemberton sold the Coke syrup to local soda fountains.

Good marketing and advertising made Coca-Cola widely successful and Pemberton sold the business to another pharmacist in 1891 for $2,300 and some proprietary rights. The name “Coca-Cola” was trademarked and registered in 1893. The coca leaf components were removed in 1903.

The first prototype for the Porsche 911 was unveiled in Germany in 1963. Since then, there has been seven generations of the Porsche 911.

The race is on -- soon

Two 911 RSRs will be decked out in red and white with “Coke is it” emblazoned on them for the final round of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship according to the Porsche’s Newsroom. “For the 22nd Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (USA), the works team of the sports car manufacturer from Weissach will join forces with the global brand Coca Cola.”

The two major brands are lining up and sharing their stellar successes to help honor and highlight the 50th anniversary year of the IMSA. The championship race has been contested in the USA and Canada since 2014, originating from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series.

According to the Porsche Newsroom: “The series originated from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), Dpi (Daytona Prototype international) and LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, and the Porsche 911 GT3 R contests the GTD class.”

A shared past and present

Atlanta is the headquarters for Coca Cola and the Porsche Cars North America.

There’s a history with these two as well. In the 1980s, the Bob Akin Motor Racing team highlighted the Porsche 935 and it was in the red and white colors with the Coca Cola logo. It scored first place in the GTP class in 1983 and the next year, the team showcased it with the Porsche 962 model. This sparked the Porsche and Coke collaboration.

In 1986, the Bob Akin Motor Racing team paired up with Hans-Hoachim Stuck and Jo Gartner and it won the 12-hour race. The construction of the Road Atlanta racetrack opened in 1970 and it was financed by Coca Cola and other investors.

In August of this year, that Porsche 962 model sold for $960,000.

This year’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale begins October 12, 2019 at 11:55 a.m.

It’s the real thing and you know, things do go better with Coke. Especially Porsches.

Be safe out there.